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If you're in need of honors credit, Dr. Tienson-Tseng's seminar for Chem 153A is sincerely a great opportunity! It does add on some extra work on top of Chem 153A, and there were times this adjunct course would stress me out given the intensity of Chem 153A itself.
That's definitely relatable, but the workload for this course as well as the grading scheme is EXTREMELY generous!! And for the effort I put in (which was, once again, very reasonable), I do believe I gained a lot out of this seminar - a better understanding of Wikipedia and the opportunity to discuss how science is communicated.
Essentially, this seminar allows you to either pick a "stub" Wikipedia article or create a new article relating to biochemistry. The first few weeks are very laidback - simply learning the interface, logistics, and purpose of using Wikipedia. Heather really breaks down the class into steps that act as checkpoints for you in writing the draft - therefore making each sort of "checkpoint" a way to gain easy points. From this, you can tell that she's rewarding effort and really trying to make this seminar a meaningful experience rather than a stressful one.
On top of that, she gives you the opportunity to contribute to / create an article on a woman scientist instead of doing a purely biochemistry-related topic . In my opinion, this is the easiest thing to do, given that half the work is simply writing a biography instead of it being 100% biochemistry or biology. With that said, I did still dive into the biochemistry of it and I loved the article that I created, given the lack of representation of women in STEM on Wikipedia. And I also loved the kind of work the person I chose was doing.
Ultimately, I THINK the breakdown of the class was something like:
- 5 points: online training modules (very simple, just do them all in advance so you don't forget to do them, although Heather is so understanding of confusion in communication)
- 5 points: first edit (making a real edit to a Wikipedia article)
- 20 points: first draft / rough draft
- 10 points: peer reviewing 2 other students' work
- 20 points: final article including images
- 10 points: in-class presentation (~5 minutes)
- 20 points: reflective essay
- 10 points: attendance/participation
She originally had training as 10 points, reflective essay as 10 points, and doing blog entries as 5 points - but she ended up scrapping the blog, and the rubric for the reflective essay was actually out of 20 points? And I think I remember the training being reduced in points.
But yeah, either way, it was a very straightforward class. An A- was set at 85, an A at 90, and an A+ at 96. This is incredibly generous! And as you can see, almost everyone gets an A+ or A in this seminar. She didn't give us the point-by-point breakdown, but I ended with an A+ myself.
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